Talk about the power of the (new) press: one popular mommyblogger is using her considerable platform to fight for justice in what she sees as the botched handling of her son's death. And the authorities are not happy.
Katie Granju was already a popular and influential blogger at Mampundit when her son, Henry, died of a drug overdose at 18. While Henry's struggles had never been a part of Granju's public narrative, she soon became a passionate chronicler of her fight for justice in what she saw as the Knoxville, Tennessee, police department's mishandling of Henry's death. In essence, she feels they've dropped the ball — dismissing Henry as yet another meaningless statistic, they've failed to pursue the couple who allegedly supplied him with drugs and then, after he OD'd, refused to call 911 for fear they'd come under scrutiny. At best, this should qualify as negligent homicide, and in the opinion of Granju and her numerous followers and advisors on JusticeforHenry.com, a lot more than that.
There's a reason the story of a mother doggedly fighting for justice is perennial: it's rooted in truth. And this persistence and refusal to let up has earned her no friends at the local precinct. (Police say a full narcotics investigation is ongoing.) In an email that got leaked, one investigator wrote "Tell Ms. Katie to shut up....someone should tell her to focus on the remaining children she still has at home. I imagine they are pretty weary of Henry"s [sic] issues at this point."
Whatever happens with Henry's case, the story has been a testament to the power of the Internet: not only has Granju generated tremendous media interest and extensive coverage — all of which has put more heat on the authorities — but through her blog has gotten to know legal experts who've helped her build her case and navigate the red tape and jargon surrounding any investigation. Not incidentally, she's created a community of people who remember and care — which must be tremendously heartening, despite the Granjus' heartbreak and frustration.